If you play sport, even casually, you know how important a properly fitted mouthguard really is.
Wearing any type of mouthguard during sport is better than none at all.
But if mouthguards are not professionally fitted and comfortable, people are more likely to take them out during a game, fiddle or play with them, or they could fall out and not be any benefit.
The risk of injuries includes cut lips, gums or cheeks, cuts to the tongue, chipped or broken teeth, teeth getting knocked out or even a broken jaw.
AFL strongly recommends dentally fitted mouthguards
Did you know that the AFL strongly recommends the use of custom fitted dental mouthguards? As part of the AFL’s Health & Fitness recommendations, on the topic of mouthguards, they actively discourage the use of ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards as a potential choking hazard.
Mouthguards have a definite role in preventing injuries to the teeth and face and for this reason they are strongly recommended at all levels of football.
Dentally fitted laminated mouthguards offer the best protection. ‘Boil and bite’ type mouthguards are not recommended for any level of play as they can dislodge during play and block the airway.
A custom fitted dental mouthguard works by absorbing the impact of a collision or blow, and is custom made from an impression of your own teeth and jaw.
Since custom fitted mouthguards fit your teeth exactly, you can talk normally and your breathing isn’t restricted. And they stay firmly in place, letting you focus on playing your favourite sport. A dental fitted mouthguard should be a compulsory part of your sporting kit, regardless of your age or experience, whether you’re an amateur or a pro.
ADA mandatory mouthguard policy
If you’re a sporting club wanting to implement a mouthguard policy, download the ADA mandatory mouthguard policy endorsed by both the ADA and Sports Medicine Australia (SMA).
A good protective mouthguard must…
- be comfortable yet tight-fitting
- allow normal breathing and swallowing
- allow normal speech
- not cause gagging
- be odourless and tasteless
- be thick enough (4 mm) to provide protection against impact.
There are three basic types of mouthguard.
These are the cheapest mouthguards available and are pre-formed to loosely cover the teeth.
These offer the least amount of protection and due to their one-size-fits-all approach, tend to fit poorly and are uncomfortable.
Boil and bite
Usually made of a deformable medical grade plastic or silicon, the mouthguard is softened by soaking it in boiling water for a moment and then placing it in the mouth and biting down on the mouthguard.
The softening procedure helps the mould take on the form of the teeth and mouth.
While these are relatively cheap and should be replaced every season, they are usually not close enough to conform to the person’s bite and can become uncomfortable to wear due to their thicker sidewalls.
Custom dental mouthguards, as the name suggests, are mouthguards made by a dentist or a dental technician to fit a person’s mouth exactly.
Due to their close fit, they provide the best protection, comfort and shock absorption. While these are the most expensive option, an injury to the teeth or jaw will be a lot more expensive.
Custom-fitted mouthguards are recommended by Dentist in Perth whether you play sport for fun or at any competition level.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.